Experience the magic of the Utah Shakespeare Festival

From the Shakespeare Festival to the Sheep Parade to Ashdown Gorge, Cedar City offers a festival-filled fall season.

HOW, WHY, WHERE

Getting There 
Pretty simple. Take I-15 South and keep going. The trip should take about five hours with food and pit stops. Leave on Friday morning to follow our itinerary.

Why Go Now
In the summer I-15 is packed with everybody going everywhere. Plus, fall is the best time to marvel over Cedar City’s beautiful colors while enjoying one of three major events.

Where to Stay
The Garden Cottage Bed and Breakfast
. Anyone going for the Utah Shakespeare Festival should consider this lodge. Along with its beautiful gardens and homey rooms, it’s near the Randall L. Jones Theatre. 16 N. 200 West, 435-586-4919, thegardencottagebnb.com

YOUR THREE-DAY TRIP

Day One: Theatah, Before and After
You’re there for real theater, and play-going requires sustenance. Start your Friday night with dinner at the Garden House (164 S. 100 West, 435-586-6110). This is Cedar City’s secret, tucked in a residential neighborhood. Don’t miss the cream of asparagus soup. After dinner, check out local  shops like Groovacious (173 N. 100 West, groovacious.com), a record shop with a special collection of albums by local singer and songwriters for $10. Stop for dessert at Bulloch Drug (91 N. Main St., 435-586-9651, bullochdrug.com) an old-style pharmacy with eclectic shopping, an old-school soda fountain and the best chocolate cake in town. After crying over a beautiful performance of Les Miserables or Hamlet at the Randall L. Jones Theatre grab a drink at Mike’s Tavern (90 W. Hoover Ave.) or Toadz (432 N. 100 West, clubtoadz.com). The bars start hoppin’ during Shakespeare season. Visit bard.org for theater tickets, times and locations.

Day Two: Barrel Racing, The Bard, Cowboy Poets
Lucky for you, breakfast is served all day, and coffee is endless at Dede’s Restaurant (86 S. Main St., 435-586-6311). The dates of your visit will determine the rest of your day. If you prefer barrel racing to the Bard, the Stampede Rodeo is Sept. 7–8 at 7 p.m. at the Iron Rangers Arena. On Sept. 8, the first of Cedar City’s fall fests, The Great American Stampede, starts with a parade on Main Street at noon when horses, cowboys, marching bands and pretty rodeo royalty fill the street. Log on to greatamericanstampede.com for more information. The Livestock and Heritage Festival, which runs Oct. 26–28, includes the Sheep Parade down Main Street at 10 a.m. on Oct. 27, when sheep move from summer to winter pastures, followed by a festival full of vendors, cowboy poets and more at the Cross Hollow Event Center. Visit cedarlivestockfest.com for the complete schedule. Keep in mind, the Shakespeare Festival holds matinees, along with backstage tours on Saturdays.

Day Three: The Scenic Route
The town quiets down on Sunday. So get out of the city and experience the beauty of Southern Utah in the fall. Go east on Center Street, which becomes Cedar Canyon. You’ll drive through jaw-dropping Ashdown Gorge Wilderness area, with sheer cliffs on either side, and enter Dixie National Forest as the aspen-and-pine-lined road meanders through the woods. The road meets up with SR-148, which leads to Cedar Breaks National Monument, but if you continue east, you’ll see the landscape change to ancient lava fields. Stop by Navajo Lake for photos of the beautiful scene. To loop back to Cedar Breaks, one of the most stunning scenes in Utah, turn right on Mammoth Creek Road, then turn left on SR-148.

STAY ANOTHER DAY

History buffs should check out the Frontier Homestead State Park Museum (635 N. Main St., 435-586-9290, frontierhomestead.org), which features rarely seen artifacts from the area's early pioneers, along with historic cabins and a replica of a pioneer household.

TIP

Don't want to drive? Fly! Delta offers non-stop flights from SLC to Cedar City Regional Airport.

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